When you're buying a home, the sale will likely be conditional on the results of a home inspection. These inspections are recommended by every real estate professional, but what exactly do they entail? How can homeowners prepare their homes to pass this inspection? How should architects design their buildings with inspections in mind? How should a home buyer use the results of the home inspection to make his or her decision?
Home inspectors are usually hired by the buyer so they will know the inspector has no loyalties to the seller. The inspector will be credited by CAHPI, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. He will then do a limited, non invasive survey of the houses for sale. This means that the inspector not remove anything that was not designed to be removed (i.e. they can open fuse panels but not remove drywall). After the inspector is done, the buyer is provided with a report detailing the inspector's findings.
It is important to remember that home inspectors cannot grade every aspect of the house. They will focus on certain important elements that are key to the integrity and value of the home, such as whether London decks are properly installed, the condition of the roof, basement, heating, cooling and air exchange systems, and water heater. The inspector will also look at the structure of the house, its electrical and plumbing work, and determine whether the doors and windows are adequately installed and insulated.
When you receive your report from the home inspector, you will notice that he or she has outlined for you any areas that need improvement in his or her opinion and whether or not these problems can be fixed. It could be that it and its neighboring houses are situated in a depression and are likely to flood, or that the attic is not properly insulated. Decide whether you still want the house given its problems, and if you are willing to put the work in to bring it up to your standards. If yes, take the results to the homeowner or her agent and use them to negotiate a drop in price.
In order to get the best results from a home inspection, you should begin preparing your home long before the inspector arrives. Fix anything you know needs to be fixed, even small things like cracked tiles, or the buyer could use it as leverage to get you to lower your price. Do not, however, try to cover up failings in your home. It won't fool the inspector and you will lose your buyer's trust.